“It’s cheese, Jim. But not as we know it!”

What is Lee on?” I hear you asking?

What the ‘salami pizza’ is he going on about now?”

There’s only one way to find out, my vulnerable and most delicate readers. Venture into the deep dark, possibly dangerous, but yet wonderfully alluring world of Onein400! You know you want to! Go on, go in…..

It’s been a busy time here. Starting off a couple of weeks ago with the London to Brighton Mini run! It is still something I manage to do. I can hear you all saying

How the be-Jesus do you do it with your poor mobility?”

It’s all about planning and remaining calm. As an Arsenal fan, I know that such qualities are, however, in short supply these days!

This year is actually the 60th Anniversary of one of the greatest cars ever built, star of the Italian Job and an innovative masterpiece. The annual drive of some 2000 classic vehicles from London to Brighton even made the BBC One Show this time.

Here is the BBC’s Alex Riley arriving in a Mini on the show. If you look very, very, very carefully I am actually in the shot!! I will reveal where at the end of the post, but do take a look. By the way, I am not the Lady on the mobility scooter on the left!

Where’s onein400?

However, all was not calm in the onein400 household on the morning of leaving for the run! Jean went out to fill up our classic mini with fuel and on returning the car was spluttering like Boris Johnson!

She had no power, and was shaking badly! (The mini that is!).

By the way, before anyone complains, cars are “shes”, so any genderists out there, get over it. Ships and planes are also “shes” and they have maiden voyages!

It now was far too late to fix. We were close to calling the whole weekend off. However, our son and his wife, who own a modern Mini (not a true mini) said why don’t we do it in their car? The modern minis are actually allowed on the run but traditionally we glare at such cars, don’t speak to the scoundrels and tell awful stories about them around the camp fire whilst drinking local hooch and playing banjos.

But now, the boot was firmly on the other foot! We decided to go the despite the threat of being black balled.

So off we went, Jean driving the mini, me riding shotgun, and Howard driving the support car. Normally the support car is for our mini, but now it is for me, with scooter, rollator and other gizmos! Although, actually my travelscoot can fit in the classic mini when folded! Those cunning German designers!

We arrived at Crystal Palace, the start of the run the next day, and roamed the minis and purchased emorabilia. Crystal Palace was once the site of the relocated 1851 Great Exhibition centrepiece, a huge double floored glasshouse that glittered in the light, hence the name. In 1936 the Palace was burnt down in a disastrous blaze which started in the Ladies’ cloakroom! All that remains are the steps and grand surrounding walls. It is now a huge field on which many amazing events start from, including the Mini run. Coincidently, it was the location at which the famous

Blow the bloody doors off

scene in the Italian Job was filmed.

After a lot of admiring, we departed for the hotel. We no longer camp with the other minis for the obvious reasons and with the new style mini this year we would have probably got our tent gobbed on anyway! As we didn’t have our Lord Bragg Gob Spray cleaner we decided not to risk it.

It was time for our pre-booked and planned pub dinner. We knew the location well so we were totally confident about access to the building. By the way, readers, I feel like starting a boycott any restaurant that doesn’t consider accessibility campaign! Will you join me? We should start with the posh ones that have the funds but simply neglect to plan! Power to the people!

I scooter with my comrades to the bar, which is quite basic but is absolutely delightful. In the days pre MND I would, as any self-respecting male member of society, strut into a bar just in case there were any attractive ladies present. Nowadays, such a strut is not possible, but a rather nimble entrance on my scooter, accelerating like Lewis Hamilton, speeding amongst bar chairs can achieve a similar effect! I then dismount and switch off the scooter, scrambling precisely into my chair! I guess the full face helmet is a bit over the top? Safety first though guys, and remember those pesky stray children can really damage your scooter!

We order, what can only be described as a wall of food, but feel chuffed and smug as we only choose starters to share rather than main courses! The fact that we choose 9 starters for 4 people is neither here nor there!

The food arrives and we feast on the fine fare. Jean is rather puzzled by our son not eating the pastry around his baked Camembert, when he politely points out that it’s not pastry but a wrapper! Jean spits hers out! It’s cheese, Jean, but not as you would have made it!

After the fine meal we returned to the Travelodge, to enjoy a well earned sleep before the enslaught of the drive to Brighton.

We leave early the next morning, again admiring the minis, with me travelscooting on a route to get to the famous Crystal Palace park, which is on a bit of a hill. The others climbed the steps. We avoid the burgers and bacon butties as they are remarkably close to the portaloos.

We then depart for Brighton. As we are in a modern mini the drive is totally uneventful and we arrive without any concerns at all. Yes it’s a mini run but not as you know it. Car driving of old! Part of the sheer fun was the potential of breaking down in the fast lane of the motorway (highway for my American readers) and vaulting for survival!

There is actually a certain irony of 2000 polluting, but exhilarating, minis arriving in the only Green Party held political town in the UK! Love it, boom! “Eat our soot, you veggies!”

Oh no, we have no soot, darn, modern efficient and environmentally friendly mini!

After a glorious day we returned home, and back to modern life! Roll on 2020!

In other news this week……

My mum is finally having a cataract operation after claiming her sight was not that bad really. However, she told me last week perhaps it is quite bad after spending some time talking to what she thought was her cat in the garden, but it was in fact a watering can! Is this what’s in store for me if I actually get to her age!? I was going to post a photo of said watering can, but I will leave it to your imagination. It was a green can, and a moggy cat!

Finally this week, where actually was onein400 precisely in the BBC screenshot?

Here I am, you can just see the distinctive shape of my Travelscoot and my boots in the rear window of the mini!

What a star! I am available for walk ons, cupboard hiding and falling down hole scenes if any director wants me.

Time Out wrote…..

onein400’s sympathetic portrayal of “man in the background” was a tour de force, blending in, never rising to Shakespearean farce. Keep an eye on this guy, and don’t be surprised if he turns up on Antique’s Roadshow nestled under Fiona Bruce’s skirt!

Oh and for those that are worried about our mini, it’s all ok. It was dirty fuel or water in carburettor, we think! You youngsters won’t know about carburettors or such car problems. So lucky! Although the engineer did find an Ed Sheeran CD jammed in the glovebox, so perhaps that was the real issue?! It would explain the awful noise! He removed it with a hammer!

Happy Birthday Mini and back soon readers!

Stop press!!!!

My mum has had her cataract surgery and it’s a miracle! There’s one lonely watering can at her house now!!

One Comment

  1. Richard Lynn says:

    Always enjoy these Lee. Miss you guys.

    Like

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